Johnson loses early-release request


An Anne Arundel circuit judge has rejected a request by Terrence Johnson for an order to release him, saying appeals of such a ruling would be tied up in the courts longer than the month remaining on Johnson's prison sentence.

Johnson, who was convicted of one count of manslaughter in the shooting deaths of two Prince George's County police officers in 1978, was told Aug. 11 that he would be released in February if he completed 90 days of work-release.

Attorney Melvin White said he also was told by a Parole Commission lawyer that his client could be released earlier if he completed the work-release agreement before Feb. 1. Johnson completed his work release Sunday.

He has asked the Parole Commission not to wait until next month to free him. In a Dec. 13 letter, Mr. White told the commission he could see "no reason" to continue to keep his client in jail "when he has done what you asked him to do."

The commission denied Johnson's early-release request Tuesday.

In a conference call with attorneys Wednesday, Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. said an order for Johnson's release most likely would be tied up in appellate courts at least until February.

"My personal advice to you is just cool it," he told Mr. White. "Sit back and let everything take care of itself."

Johnson, who hopes to attend law school when released, said he was disappointed with the decision but understood it. "The judge is a very honorable man, and he's also a practical man," he said.

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